Robert D. Braun

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Robert D. Braun

Dr. Robert (Bobby) D. Braun is an American aerospace engineer and the dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

He previously served as the Chief Technologist of NASA and the David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Braun received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, his M.S. in Astronautics from George Washington University, and his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and worked on a variety of advanced planetary exploration concepts at the NASA Langley Research Center from 1987-2003. He worked on the Mars Pathfinder mission from 1992–1997.[1]

He joined the faculty of Georgia Tech in 2003, and was the founding director of the university's Center for Space Technology Research. In early 2010, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. appointed Braun as the Agency's Chief Technologist.[2][3] In this capacity, he created and staffed the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist, formulated the NASA Space Technology program and advocated for the budget necessary to advance cutting-edge technology applicable to NASA's future missions. Braun served in the position for 20 months before announcing his resignation and returning to Georgia Tech.[4]

In 2012, Braun and SpaceWorks CEO John Olds founded Terminal Velocity Aerospace. The company, a design and hardware manufacturing organization, focused on orbital reentry devices and entry system technology. Braun sold his share of the business in 2015; it is now a subsidiary of SpaceWorks.

Braun served as the Moore Distinguished Scholar at Caltech in 2015.

Braun was named dean of the University of Colorado Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science in 2016, beginning in the position on January 3, 2017.[5]

Honors and distinctions[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Braun, R.D.; and Manning, R.M.; “Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Challenges,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 310–323, Mar-Apr, 2007.
  • Dubos, G.F.; Saleh, J.H.; and Braun. R.D.: “Technology Readiness Level, Schedule Risk, and Slippage in Spacecraft Design.” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 836–842, July-Aug, 2008.
  • Clark, I.M.; Hutchings, A.L.; Tanner, C.L.; and Braun, R.D.: “Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators for Use on Future Robotic Missions to Mars.” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 340–352, Mar-Apr, 2009.
  • Korzun, A.M.; Braun, R.D.; and Cruz, J.R.; “A Survey of Supersonic Retropropulsion Technology for Mars Entry, Descent and Landing,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 46, No. 5, pp. 929–937, Sept-Oct, 2009.
  • Theisinger, J.E.; and Braun, R.D.; “Multi-Objective Hypersonic Entry Aeroshell Shape Optimization,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 46, No. 5, pp. 957–966, Sept-Oct, 2009.
  • Grant, M.J.; Steinfeldt, B.A.; Matz, D.M.; Braun, R.D.; and Barton, G.H.; “Smart Divert – A New Entry, Descent and Landing Architecture.” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 385-393, May-June, 2010.
  • Putnam, Z.R.; and Braun, R.D.; “Precision Landing at Mars Using Discrete-Event Drag Modulation,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 128-138, Jan-Feb, 2014.


  1. ^ Schleck, Dave (5 July 1997). "Langley Engineers Celebrate Success". Daily Press (Virginia). 
  2. ^ Chang, Kenneth (3 February 2010). "House Panel Sees Pros and Cons in NASA Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  3. ^ NASA news release regarding appointment
  4. ^ "NASA Internal Memo: Resignation Letter of NASA CTO Robert Braun". 
  5. ^ "Braun named new dean of engineering and applied science". Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  6. ^ "L. Sperry Award Recipient - 1999". American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Trophies and Awards at the National Air and Space Museum". National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "A New Era of Planetary Exploration". LARC. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Bobby Braun". Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  10. ^ Skytland. "Announcing AAS Award Recipients and Fellows". American Astronautical Society. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 

External links[edit]